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Israel Pledges Support to Turkish Miners, Nigerian Girls

May 21, 2014

Jewish and Arab Israeli Tel Aviv University students

Jewish and Arab students strike together in sympathy with the junior staff of Israel’s Tel Aviv University.

“In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”  (Matthew 7:12)

Despite an ongoing effort to vilify and delegitimize the Jewish state through international campaigns that portray Israel as an Apartheid state, Israel continues to prove otherwise through its compassionate efforts to not only improve the lives of its own Arab population, but also help others outside the Holy Land.

In a recent bid to increase the representation of Arab students in the academic world, Israel’s Council for Higher Education announced 650 scholarships totaling NIS 6.5 million (1,868,620 USD) for Arab students pursuing an undergraduate education.

“The scholarship fund provides truly good news for many Arab graduates who have completed their formal education and could not exercise their individual capacities in higher education due to financial problems.  The scholarship will serve for many talented graduates as a bridge that will lead them straight to the gates of academia to pursue higher education,” Education Minister Shai Piron said.

“Access to higher education is one of the main keys to the economic development of Arab society and to minimizing the gaps,” said Mr. Iman Saif, director of the Authority for the Economic Development of the Arab, Druze and Circassian Sectors.  “The scholarship program will give many who cannot financially afford [university fees] the ticket to higher education with an emphasis on preferred professions.”  (JPost)

Palestinian students West Bank

Arab students in Judea and Samaria, also called the West Bank.

Israel’s compassion is not limited to its own citizens however.

In the wake of last week’s coal-mine disaster in Turkey that killed 301 workers, trapping hundreds more, Israeli President Shimon Peres sent words of solace to Turkish President Abdullah Gul and pledged Israel’s service.

“We have offered Turkey whatever assistance you require at this time,” Peres said in a letter to Gul.  “At times of tragedy we must all do what we can to help one another.”

As well, in order to stand with the Turkish people, the Israeli Embassy in Ankara canceled a belated Israel Independence Day function.

The Israeli Embassy wrote that “the State and people of Israel share the grief of the Turkish people, pay condolences to the families of the deceased, wish speedy recovery for the wounded and hope for positive news from the ones still in the mine.”

Mining disaster in Turkey

Last week’s mining disaster in Turkey claimed 301 victims.

Israel also focused on helping Nigeria find the 276 Christian school girls kidnapped this past month by Islamist-extremist group Boko Haram from their boarding school in Chibok, a primarily Christian village; 53 of the girls managed to escape after capture.  (CBN)

“I abducted your girls,” said Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, in a video that was circulating shortly after the raid.  “I will sell them in the market, by Allah.  There is a market for selling humans.”  (National Geographic)

Last week, Israel dispatched a team of intelligence experts to help search for the abducted girls.

Israel joined the United States and Britain in the search mission after Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan permitted foreign intervention.  France and China also pledged their support.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Jonathan two weekends ago to express Israel’s shock over the crime, committing to send an expert counterterrorism team to Nigeria.

“Israel is ready to assist in locating the girls and in fighting the brutal terrorism that is taking place in Nigeria,” he said.  (JTA)

“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.”  (Proverbs 3:27)

International day of Action

As part of an international day of action, hundreds gathered on May 3 at Union Square in New York City to demand the release of the schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram insurgents in Nigeria.

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